Differentiating Between Hero and Antagonist in Julius Ceasar by William Shakespeare

Differentiating Between Hero and Antagonist in Julius Ceasar by William Shakespeare

Length: 1714 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Differentiating Between Hero and Antagonist in Julius Ceasar by William Shakespeare

Within many of William Shakespeare's tragedies, the reader can easily distinguish between the hero and the antagonist. Unfortunately, this seemingly elementary task proves rather arduous when applied to William Shakespeare's tragedy of Julius Caesar. Upon conclusion of the play, the reader is left with an empty feeling (no thanks to the ever quick-witted bard Shakespeare) when confronted with the question: who is the tragic hero of the play? However, after unraveling the tangled results of careful consideration, the question still remains unanswered, or, at the most, with many answers. One answer to this elusive question is that the hero of the play is truly that character which the play centers around, both corporeal and in spirit: the character of Julius Caesar. Another possible answer, and the most common one, suggests that noble Marcus Brutus is the tragic hero. For Brutus in Marc Anthony's words, "was the noblest Roman of them all"(act 5, scene 5, line 68). Furthermore, how can one not argue that brave, loyal and clever Marc Anthony is not the hero? For in fact he endures his grief skillfully, conquers Brutus bravely, and is one of the few main characters left breathing when the tragedy concludes. All of these justifiable answers, given voice from a clever mind, can be proven infallible. So one is baffled again. How can all three, professedly heroic characters, be proven to be the tragic hero? After dedicating an exceedingly ample amount of time upon equating this seemingly impossible equation, one comes to the conclusion that there is no hero. Rather, one concludes that Shakespeare has written a problem play in which his prin...


... middle of paper ...


... arrogance in seeking the crown. Furthermore, this snowballing tragedy ultimately results in Anthony's evil reaction of preaching mutiny against Brutus's insurrection, due to the consequences of his tragic flaw in his un-"Caesarian" release of chaos and disorder coinciding with his mutiny. Simply stated, a mutiny, led in response to an initial mutiny, is a remarkable recipe for evil and disorder. Finally, the reader can draw the conclusion that although this complicated play has no true tragic hero, it does have a true antagonist: the immoral act of insurrection! All characters within the play are individuals composed of both honorable and dis-honorable qualities, men with emotions in disarray and jumbled motives, men with personal as well as communal needs, and men brought to absolute confusion by the disorder they created in their immoral action of insurrection.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Varying Degrees of Loyalty in Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

- Loyalty is a very complex emotion in which a person or animal feels devotion and faithfulness to something or someone. A dog has loyalty to others. Its owner may accidentally slam a door on it, and it will still be loyal to its owner. A cat has loyalty to itself. If its owner pets it wrong, the cat will attack. Dogs and cats show differentiating loyalty, and so do the characters in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. Loyalty is a main theme in the play, with each character showing it differently....   [tags: Manipulation, Trustworthy]

Better Essays
644 words (1.8 pages)

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, the story revolves around the various individuals who would vie for control of the Roman Empire. All of these individuals exhibit various attributes, values, and techniques in order to facilitate this goal, from Cassius’ intelligence, Brutus’ charm and honor, to Antony’s gift to drive a crowd. And although all three desire to become the new strongman leader of Rome, it is Antony who succeeds gaining the most control through his own specific talents, most specifically noted at Caesar’s funeral....   [tags: Julius Caesar William Shakespeare Essays]

Better Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)

The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare Essay

- Imagine yourself listening to a political debate, undecided as to which leader you agree with. One candidate begins to speak about unjust societal issues, such as the horrifying amount of people in the world that do not have food on their table. The candidate also begins to touch upon the topic of taxes and how he will lower them if he is elected. You find yourself being persuaded in the direction of emotions and morals. The power of language used to appeal others is not only present in the modern world, but also in the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, written by famous English playwright William Shakespeare....   [tags: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Julius Caesar]

Better Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

Mark Antony’s Motivation in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare Essay

- Rome, 44 B.C. a wealthy and powerful empire whose leader has just been assassinated. People are shocked and terrified but one man stands calmly and looks over this mass chaos. Mark Antony, one of Caesar’s best generals and colleagues, he smiles because he knows that he has a chance to have all of the power in Rome. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare was written in 1599. In the novel Senators worried by the amount of power possessed by Julius Caesar think of a plan to get rid of him. The senators who are part of the conspiracy try to get Brutus to join them....   [tags: Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, ]

Better Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Suicide in Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

- Suicide has always been a common alternative action to get away from one’s problems in human history. Sometimes however, it is at times hard to decipher whether or not one’s suicide may be heroic or weak. In Ancient Rome, suicide was often considered an honorable and praiseworthy way to die, it was not until long after this time period that organized religions started considering suicide as a sin rather than an act of heroism. In the brilliant Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, many characters in the play take their own lives, this throws us into the dark as to whether or not their acts of suicide are heroic or weak....   [tags: Julius Caesar Essays]

Better Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on William Shakespeare 's Julius Caesar

- William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is centralized on the debate of whether or not man is bound to a fate predestined by some divine force hidden within the stars or a fate controlled by one’s own actions. Based on Sir Thomas North’s Plutarch’s historical accounts, Shakespeare depicts the characters within the play to believe that fate is either controlled by the divine, as indicated through portents or omens, Roman values, or human decision alone. However, Shakespeare ultimately makes the argument that the decisive actions of humans, both good and bad, are what ultimately shape history and therefore fate....   [tags: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Plutarch]

Better Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Brutus for Ruler in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

- In the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare there are several people who would be good rulers of Rome. Out of them all Brutus would have been the best choice to lead Rome. Brutus would be the best chosen leader for Rome for several reasons. Brutus was a very smart man and smartness is a very good quality for a leader. Another feature Brutus had, was he had very little or maybe even no emotions, and if he did he did a very good job of hiding them. A further aspect of Brutus is that he was very well respected by everyone....   [tags: Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, ]

Better Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Julius Caesar Essay

- Micah Carpenter Mrs.Padgett English 10C 15 December 2015 Persuasive essay What is “Julius Caesar”. It was a play based on the death of Julius Caesar. This play was written by the playwright William Shakespeare. This play consisted, in my standpoint of writing this, two main characteristic of rulers. The question is what are the two main characteristics of rulers. The two main types of ruling characteristics that are expressed in this play are pragmatism and a man of principle. Now the question is what is better....   [tags: Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Augustus]

Better Essays
897 words (2.6 pages)

Marcus Brutus as the Protagonist of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

- Marcus Brutus as the Protagonist of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar      All men have the power to reason.  Some men can reason better than others, nonetheless, all men can reason.  In order to reason, one must clear his mind, be completely impartial, and understand the situation to the best of his ability.  The play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, is the story of a man trying his best to make reasonable, rational decisions.  Marcus Brutus is this struggling character who evades constant pressure from all sides to gloriously pull through, yet dies at play's end.  Undoubtedly, Brutus is the main character, and driving force of the play, despite the mislead...   [tags: Julius Caesar Essays Shakespeare]

Better Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

- Rhetorical strategies are perhaps one of the oldest corrective rules introduced on the human race. Rhetoric is the study of impressive writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion. In William Shakespeare's very famous play "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar," Marcus Brutus and Mark Antony give a speech at Julius Caesar's funeral. Both speakers introduce themselves to the crowd in their own unique way with the usage of the three different rhetorical strategies; logos, ethos, and pathos, therefore arousing in the Roman crowd greatly distinct emotions and reactions....   [tags: Caesar Shakespeare]

Better Essays
1425 words (4.1 pages)